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  • Author: Ron French x
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Kim A. Duchane and Ron French

Fishbein and Ajzen’s (1975) reasoned action theoretical model was used to examine physical education teachers’ attitudes toward grading students with disabilities. Participants were 82 male and 100 female teachers who taught physical education in grade 6-8, representing 119 schools. The Physical Educators’ Attitude Toward Teaching Individuals with Disabilities (PEATID-III) survey and a grading practices questionnaire were administered. A three-way ANOVA indicated no significant differences in grading practices between genders and between teachers with positive and negative attitudes. However, comparison of grading practices for students with (M = 122.83) and without disabilities (M = 133.49) revealed significant differences, F(1, 154) = 21.31, p < .001. It was concluded that criteria for grading students with disabilities are significantly different from those for nondisabled classmates. Neither attitude nor gender made a significant difference in grading practices.

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Lisa M. Silliman and Ron French

The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of preferred verbal praise and music reinforcement on improving the soccer kick performances of youths with profound mental retardation (PMR). Subjects (N = 15) were randomly assigned to three groups. Based on visual inspection and the split-middle technique, all three groups (i.e., control, verbal praise, and music reinforcer) improved performances in their kicking accuracy. Comparison of graphed mean data of the three groups, by visual inspection and the split-middle technique, showed that the verbal praise and music reinforcement groups had higher scores than the control group. Visual inspection of 2-week follow-up data revealed that both experimental groups maintained higher scores than the control group. In addition, all of the subjects had the ability to generalize this kicking skill into a physical recreation environment.

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Lisa Silliman-French, Ron French, Claudine Sherrill and Barbara Gench

The purpose was to determine the effectiveness of three feedback conditions (aversive tone, preferred music, and no feedback) on time-on-task of correct upper body postural alignment in adults with profound mental retardation (PMR). Participants were seven adults (3 males and 4 females), ages 25 to 34. A randomized multiple-treatment design with generalization and follow-up phases was used. Participants received three randomly assigned conditions each day for a total of 45 sessions over 15 days. Five of the participants increased time-on-task in response to preferred music, whereas two participants increased time-on-task in response to both aversive tone and preferred music. Friedman two-way analysis of variance indicated that music was significantly more effective than other conditions. It was concluded that preferred music feedback is, at least minimally, effective in improving time-on-task of upper body postural alignment of adults with PMR.

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April Tripp, Ron French and Claudine Sherrill

Contact theory was examined by comparing total and subscale attitude scores of children toward peers with disabilities (physical, learning, behavioral) in integrated (contact) and segregated (noncontact) physical education settings. Subjects were 455 children ages 9 to 12 years; class size was 40 to 45. Data were collected using the Peer Attitudes Toward the Handicapped Scale (PATHS). ANOVA on total attitude scores indicated gender differences, with girls having more positive attitudes, but no difference between settings. MANOVA on subscale attitude scores revealed gender differences, favoring girls, only on the physical disability subscale. Setting significantly affected attitudes toward physical and behavioral disabilities but not learning disabilities. Children in the integrated setting had significantly more positive attitudes toward peers with behavioral disabilities than those in the segregated setting, but the reverse was true toward peers with physical disabilities. Contact theory was supported by this research for only behavioral disability.

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Jim DePaepe, Ron French and Barry Lavay

Burnout is a syndrome that has had a negative effect on the behavior of regular and special classroom teachers. The purpose of this investigation was to determine (a) whether special physical educators experience symptoms of burnout and (b) whether these symptoms fluctuate over time. Based on the results of this investigation, the subjects exhibited several symptoms that are related to the burnout phenomenon. Furthermore, these symptoms characteristically are high throughout the school year. It was concluded that special physical educator supervisors should design appropriate strategies to prevent or reduce these symptoms. Not only would this have a positive effect on teaching behavior but it would in turn improve student learning.

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Keith Henschen, Michael Horvat and Ron French

The purpose of this study was to visually compare the psychological profile of 33 male wheelchair athletes who competed in track and field events, with previous results of able-bodied athletes. Based on the data gathered using the Profile of Mood States and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory the wheelchair athletes demonstrated a profile similar to that of able-bodied athletes. This finding was discussed in terms of mental skills that may be developed by wheelchair athletes because of their injuries, possible influence of medication, and higher level of demonstrated anger.

Considering that the human body is made for movement, it is a universally accepted fact that sports are one of the activities that are extremely healthy for man. Unlike the machines invented by man, the human machine deteriorates with inactivity. (Monnazzi, 1982, p. 85)

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Seung-oh Choi, Harry J. Meeuwsen, Ron French and Jill Stenwall

Behavioral, response outcome, and response kinematic measures were analyzed for 6 adults (5 males and 1 female) with profound mental retardation (PMR). Participants performed 30 error-free simple linear aiming movements on a digitizing tablet during 7 acquisition, 3 retention, and 4 transfer days. A one-way ANOVA on the number of trials to reach 30 error-free responses revealed that adults with PMR improved, learned the skill, and transferred it to a new situation. The 2 × 3 × 3 (Phase × Day × Block) repeated measures ANOVAs for response outcome and kinematic measures indicated that participants were able to initiate movement faster with practice. However, practice did not result in changes in kinematic response measures.

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John O’Connor, Ron French, Claudine Sherrill and Garth Babcock

The purpose was to determine whether publications pertaining to adapted physical activity (APA) pedagogy in the core serials from 1988 to 1998 adhere to library science laws. A bibliometric analysis was conducted on 770 articles in 259 serials selected from 4,130 serials initially identified in four databases (Article First, ERIC, Medline, Sport Discus). Results indicated that 1,720 authors have constructed the early APA pedagogy literature. Of these, only 11 contributed four or more articles. The scatter of APA pedagogy literature over four zones, with 4, 15, 64, and 176 journals in the zones, respectively, supports Bradford’s law of scattering. Price’s law was not supported because most authors contributed only one article. Most pedagogy articles (n = 184) were published in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise, Physician and Sports Medicine, and Palaestra. Graduate education should include exposure to bibliometrics and collaboration with library and information science specialists.

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Gholamali Owlia, Ron French, Vic Ben-Ezra and Lisa M. Silliman

The purpose of this investigation was to determine the influence of audio (cassette tapes) and audiovisual (music videotapes) reinforcers on motorized bicycle ergometer time-on-task performance of 5 adolescents who were profoundly mentally retarded (PMR). The groups that received audio and audiovisual reinforcers had significantly higher time-on-task performance compared to subjects who received no reinforcement. However, there was no significant difference between audio and audiovisual reinforcers. It was concluded that music and videotapes with music can be effectively used to improve the performance of adolescents who are PMR when riding a stationary motorized bicycle ergometer.

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Freddie Bennett, Pat Eisenman, Ron French, Hester Henderson and Barry Shultz

A single-subject multiple baseline design across subjects was used to discern the effect of a token economy on the exercise behavior and cardiorespiratory fitness of individuals with Down syndrome. The subjects were three females ranging in age from 24 to 26 years, with estimated IQs between 32 and 56. The exercise behavior consisted of pedaling a cycle ergometer for 15 min each weekday at 50-60% of peak VO2 for 6 to 8 weeks. Subjects voluntarily pedaled the cycle ergometer during the baseline phase, and after stabilization entered the intervention phase at 5-day intervals. During the intervention phase, tokens that could be exchanged for preferred items were dispensed for a predetermined number of revolutions. Based on the data and calculations using the split-middle technique, it was concluded that a token economy can be used to increase exercise behavior. Resting heart rates decreased 12.2%, and submaximal exercise heart rates, averaged over three work stages, decreased 18.8% over the course of the study. The small sample size, variable subject response, and a malfunctioning gas analyzer call for caution in inferring any possible cardiorespiratory fitness training effect.